Category Archives: News/Features

PCA Files Comments Opposing FDA Flavored Cigar Proposed Rule

[Fri, July 29, 2022 — Washington, DC] Today, the Premium Cigar Association (PCA) filed public comments opposing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) proposed rule entitled “Tobacco Product Standard for Characterizing Flavors in Cigars.” The proposed rule would prohibit the manufacture, distribution, and sale of cigars, or any of their components or parts, with a characterizing flavor other than tobacco. However, the evidence on which FDA relied in issuing the proposed rule does not demonstrate that use of flavored cigar products inherently poses an increased health risk relative to use of cigars without non-tobacco “characterizing flavors.” Further, FDA erroneously claimed that banning such products will improve health equity, particularly among certain subpopulations.

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Quality Importers names Goldman President

Weston FL — July 6, 2022 Quality Importers Trading Company (QI) has announced today that Alex Goldman, currently Chief Operating Officer of Quality Importers Trading Company (QI) will be taking on the additional role of President. In this expanded role, Mr. Goldman will oversee all day-to-day operations of the company as well as spearhead the implementation of the company’s longer-term initiatives, stated the company’s CEO and Chairman Michael Giordano.

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The Premium Cigar Association and the Boutique Cigar Association of America Begin a New Collaboration

[Wed, July 20, 2022 — Washington, DC] The Premium Cigar Association (PCA) and the Boutique Cigar Association of America (BCAA) announced today a new collaborative relationship to highlight the boutique cigar industry within the world of premium cigars, and to effect solidarity within the cigar industry.

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Day 2-PCA Top 10:

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  1. Before the Mayans. The symbol for cigar from an ancient Central American civilization dons the band and the box for Foundation’s new Olmec Cigar. Foundation also is producing a Cigar marking the 100th anniversary of King Tut’s Discovery The box is a replica of one of the boxes found in the tomb, It’s called Highclear Castle Sinetro.

2. The whole package. El Septimo Geneva has brought the luxury again with El Septimo Cognac, El Septimo wine, and three different $5.5 million lighters. They also premiered the Emperor’s line of Connecticut and Maduro.

3. What’s that taste? Color has a flavor in the first Ozgener Family Bosphorus yellow by Tim Ozgener and Crowned Heads. He also promoted his Pi Synesthesia with artwork on the box inspired by his father’s tobacco leaf art.

4. Charity for the troops. Cigars for Warriors is Celebrating its 10th Anniversary with a medal. They are available for purchase to help the charity at their PCA booth or on their website after the convention.

5. Take you to school. Noel Rojas has made a splash with several different brands in their booth but if you haven’t seen “The Complete Guide to Becoming a Cigar Specialist” Vol. 1,-Nicaragua, you should. Buyers smoke the cigars in the box from the regions used to make the blend.

6. Cuban sized. Micallef Cigars is proud of their variety and with good reason. At PCA they are showing off their pack with eight of their blends in a londres size. They are also adding another size to the A line with the “a,” named after their ambassador’s program.

7. The summer of Bewitching. It’s another very good show for Steve Saka and Dunbarton tobacco. He has several projects he has been working on that are being promoted at the show. Another Muestra De Saka, Bewitched, the Holiday Edition Stillwell star, Todos Los Dias is back with the Mas Fuerte, and the limited edition. Mi Querida “SakaKhan”

8. American aged. The relatively new brand ATL, straight out of Atlanta is enjoying the 95 from Stogie Press for their Magic and using it for their success. The company uses Nicaraguan tobacco that is curated and aged in Atlanta.

9. New approach to tubos. Cigar Bros Humidors was showing their Vending Machine like Humidors. The stand-alone boxes are full of tubos with prices and cigar description.

10. The competition is steep Integra has stepped up the game and was showing their Boost 420 humidification insert that services 200 cigars. The 320 will keep up to 150 and they offer smaller sizes as well.

PCA Convention Day 1 TOP 10:

  1. We live in the greatest country in the world. At the PCA Annual Meeting of the Membership sponsored by Foundation Cigar Company, breakfast was provided, cigars were plentiful and we respected the flag and recited the pledge as Cigars for Warriors presented the colors.

2. The Cigar Industry in general and PCA specifically is doing well. PCA reported on the recent court victory calling the FDA’s regulation of premium cigars “arbitrary and capricious.”

3. Drunk Chicken Cigars is no joke. In just three years, CEO Desiree Sylver has made others take notice. This minority-owned, woman-owned, veteran-owned company creates “cigars that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere.” Look for the Fat Hen or the Mother Clucker.

4. Rebranding is worth it. El Artista has become Artista and the new look is clean and well done. They are known for the Big Papi and Buffalo Ten (we gave that a 97). They created a new master brand and introduced new blends. They also added a really clever new line called Paper Boy. (see cover photo)

5. Pipes are cool again. Dominican Big League created their version of the pipe by way of a specially-rolled cigar. by Francisco Almonte

6. ATF is not so bad. The ATF magazine is a quarterly publication that writes about Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Subscribe at ATFlifestyle.com. Their latest issue cover story was Matt Booth of Room 101 Cigars.

7. It matters what you pair. When manufacturers blend a cigar, they often have a specific drink in mind for the consumer to make that cigar the best it can be. Luciano (in the Crowned Heads booth) showed off their wine to pair with their new blend, Mas Igneus.

8. Cigar manufacturers are humble and gracious people. Mrs. Have A Premium Cigar created jewelry, key chains and coasters for many vendors. They were very appreciative.

9. All the hype was right. 2022 is a great year for cigars and the health and excitement of this convention proves it. Surpassing pre-COVID numbers is something the organization can achieve and the industry needs.

10. Las Vegas may be hot but it’s very cool. The strip has many gems including the LinQ Promenade (Alley). Despite the over 100 degree temperature, the outdoor restaurants have cooling water and fans, to make the experience pleasant.

Black Works Studio announces Killer Bee Connecticut

PRESS RELEASE

  • July 8, 2022— Black Works Studio (BLK WKS) is pleased to announce the release of Killer Bee Connecticut: Hand crafted in Esteli, Nicaragua at Fabrica Oveja Negra.

KILLER BEE CONNECTICUT will be available at select BLK WKS retailers later this summer.  This cigar was first released in a small batch in 2018.

“We are excited about the return of the Killer Bee Connecticut.  It was one of our most popular cigars in the Killer Bee line.  After several years of requests, we are happy to announce Killer Bee Connecticut will now be a core-line product. With similar profiles to the Killer Bee, it may not be what you expect from a typical Connecticut cigar.  The Connecticut wrapper gives an added creaminess and changes up the spice components quite a bit,” said James Brown, creator of BLK WKS and partner at Fabrica Oveja Negra. 

KB Connecticut will be shipping in limited quantities this week.

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Connecticut and Ecuador Maduro swirl cap & closed foot 

Binder: Nicaraguan Habano

Filler: Nicaragua

Petite Corona – 4.5 x 46 (24 count) MSRP $11.00

BLK WKS cigars are an expression of art showcasing the talent, technique, and tobacco behind boutique cigar factory; Fabrica Oveja Negra.  

For more information contact info@BlackLabelTrading.com.

Fuente gives unique 13-blend cigars to PCA attendees and a special surprise

Carlito Fuente blended a 6 1/4x 52 with 13 tobaccos, including 2 wrappers and 2 binders, to celebrate Fuente Friday with 250 of their closes friends in Las Vegas at PCA 2022.

This cigar will never be sold,” Jose Blanco said. “It was made for us to smoke together. I came up with this idea because I’ve always been a big supporter of IPCPR, RTDA, PCA. “

The cigar was made and smoked at the opening event of the annual convention. Fuente said it was done to support PCA but to bring something unique to the retailers.

“We would not be here if it was not for the retailers who make everyone’s lives better, Blanco said. “Carlito made this blend using 13 different tobaccos. To make this blend you really have to know tobacco.”

They provided cigars to the first 250 retailers at the event and opened a Q&A for the audience.

“I wanted to have fun and interact with each and everyone if I’m you,” Fuente said “It’s about entertainment and it’s about sharing. I wanted to use tobacco I had not used before. I made a blend with tobacco from the memories I’ve had. I blend in my dreams.

“If you know tobacco, you envision what you want to achieve. You instruct the master roller of how to place the tobacco,” he added.

Blanco and Fuente opened it up to the audience to get opinions of the cigar as they smoked it.

“Taste is subjective,” Blanco said. “I’m picking up a lot of sweetness from it.”

Others mentioned flavors such as earth, pepper, cedar, baking spices.

“This is the kind of cigar you’d expect to pay more for because of the quality and the attention to detail that was used when it was made,” Jeff Slatton (HaveAPremiumCigar.com and CigarWeekly.com) said. “It has quality construction, and it is true of all the cigars made in your factory. Hats off to you sir.”

Blanco asked Fuente, “How many times have you made a blend with 2 tobaccos and they don’t work together?”

“It’s happened, Fuente said. “Many times. You realize something’s missing. What’s a great cigar? My dad said It’s a cigar you are enjoying. It’s one you are burning your fingers because you don’t want to put it out. It’s balance, it’s complexity.”

“Cigars are made to be enjoyed not to knock you on your ass. It’s too enjoy with others,” Blanco said.

Blanco said the retailers inspired him to want to share cigars with the audience.

“Hard work is what retailers do,” Blanco said. “I take off my hat to all the retailers all over the world because you are a part of the greatest industry in the world.”

Carlitos surprised the audience with two trips for two.

“It you talk the talk, you walk the walk, Fuente said. “I believe in family and you are my family. And you bring family to your home.”

He told the audience to look under their chairs and if they had a cigar taped under their chair they were the lucky winners to win round trip for two to Dominican Republic and a visit with him at his home.

One luckily winner.

Blanco: What’s the one thing that can ruin the perfect cigar? Smoking it next to an asshole.

Finish Your Cigar with Ferio Tego at PCA22

Ferio Tego is committed to excellence—excellence in our products, with consistency in experience, availability and dependability, and excellence in our relationships. We believe that our time together in person at the PCA22 trade show is best spent learning more about your business, sharing more about our business and philosophy, and finding valuable ways to continue to support one another and grow our businesses together.

We are excited to spend some meaningful time with you at PCA22 and invite you to visit us in booth #1501!

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Vintage Cigar Distributors of New England Taps James Shaffer to Lead Sales

(Londonderry, NH Thursday, July 7, 2022) Vintage Cigar Distributors of New England is excited to announce they have hired James Shaffer to lead sales for the organization and continue growing the national distribution of their flagship 7-20-4 brand. Shaffer comes to Vintage Cigar Distributors with 20 years of Premium Cigar retail and wholesale experience. Also, with Shaffer’s previous experience as a National Sales Director, with Nat Sherman International, he brings to the company skills emphasizing excellence in market knowledge, business development, and leadership. 

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La Palina Series 2 Exclusively Available to PCA22 Trade Show Attendees

The famed La Palina Goldie series is one of the most sought-after cigars in the world. Bill Paley, owner of La Palina, proudly states, “Goldie Prominente continues La Palina’s commitment to produce Goldie in classic styles and hyper limited quantities. Last year we offered 300 boxes of the Prominente as a PCA Trade Show exclusive and they were sold out within an hour of the show start. This year we are able to offer 500 boxes, in what we are calling Series 2.

We consulted with our team at El Titan De Bronze to utilize vintage tobaccos—which had been set aside for short run projects such as Goldie Prominente Series 2, and are pleased to offer this notable product to the retailers who support and attend the PCA22 in person later this week in Las Vegas.

Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Twisted

The Romeo y Julieta story keeps getting better as the revered Reserva Real line expands with a twist. The Reserva Real Twisted Love Story and the Reserva Real Twisted Toro. Each cigar is rolled with two different wrapper varietals consisting of alternating Ecuadorian Habano and Ecuadorian Connecticut shade tobacco. Each hand-crafted cigar features filler made from the finest Dominican and Nicaraguan tobaccos available. The binder is Nicaraguan and, as noted above, the wrapper is alternating with specially selected Ecuadorian and Connecticut shade tobacco.

Judges: FDA acted improperly, EPA exceeded authority

A district court ruled the FDA did not properly adhere to the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act by ignoring the evidence supporting a premium cigar exemption from regulation.

This comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last Thursday stating Congress did not give the Environmental Protection Agency authority to make broad requirements of states in the climate fight.

“Agencies have only those powers given to them by Congress,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. “The agency … must point to ‘clear congressional authorization’ for the power it claims.”

The ruling yesterday called the FDA’s move “arbitrary and capricious.” The judge gave the opportunity for both sides to submit additional briefings before he issues his final judgement after July 26.

Credit has to be given to Premium Cigar Association, the Cigar Rights of America and the Cigar Association of America, Inc. for years of research, lobbying and lawsuits.

“Please understand this is and has been an incredibly complex and difficult task to get our Government’s Regulatory Bureaucracy to respond,” cigar manufacturer Steve Saka posted on Facebook. “A tremendous effort has been expended legislatively and legally to get us to this point.

“Without their efforts, I am not even sure if Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust would be in business today,” he added.

In June, the FDA ordered the vaping company Juul to pull its devices and nicotine liquid pods off shelves, determining they had not shown enough evidence that its products do not hurt public health.

“On July 5, 2022, FDA administratively stayed the marketing denial order” the FDA said in a twitter post. “The agency has determined that there are scientific issues unique to the JUUL application that warrant additional review.”

The stay temporarily suspended the marketing denial order during the additional review but did not rescind it. The message added the stay “does not constitute authorization to market, sell, or ship JUUL products.”

Foundation Cigars Introduces New Core Line – Olmec

June 2022, Ellington, Connecticut – The Olmecs are the early Americas’ most mysterious and ancient civilizations.  The Olmecs pre-date the Mayans and Aztecs and are considered the “mother culture” of Mesoamerica.  They are the first to create mathematically precise pyramids, calendars, and, as far as we know, the first to smoke cigars.  The Heart Land of the Olmecs is the tropical lowlands of modern-day Mexican states of Veracruz, Tabasco, and San Andrés Tuxtla.  Today, this is the same region that grows some of the finest San Andrès Negro wrapper tobacco.  This seed variety is considered one of the oldest seed varieties in the world. 

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Espinosa announces two new releases for PCA22

Espinosa Premium Cigars has announced the release of two anniversary cigars that will debut at the PCA in July 2022.


The first is the La Zona 10 Year Anniversary cigar. This cigar is a celebration of the La Zona factory, where Espinosa Cigars started
making cigars in 2012 when Erik formed his own company. “Everything about this cigar is a tribute, from the cigar blend to the box design and the band. They are all throwbacks to when we first started out,” said Hector Alfonso.

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